a little better lamenting

So, I’m lamenting again.  Only it looks a little different…a dear friend who knew my Christmas woes brought over a delicious candle today that has me dreaming of fresh pine Christmas trees so for the past half hour I’ve been buying new Christmas songs on iTunes for my collection and perusing my favorite home decor websites and filling fake carts with Christmas decor.  Phew.  That was a long run-on sentence with lots of Christmas.  It makes me happy though, so sorry mom.

If I can’t decorate, I will pretend to do it in my head.  I did break down and pull out a few strands of lights for the mantle and stole borrowed one of the decorations I bought for my friend (but haven’t given to her yet).  So, we have a little Christmas cheer…and that makes me smile.

It’s just plain weird to see everyone put their tree up and hang stockings and transform their homes into cozy reds and greens…and not do it myself.  I’m ready to be transported to my parent’s home right now- where I can stare at a Christmas tree while drinking Starbucks Christmas blend coffee in the dusk.  But we have 10 days before we leave NJ, and then another week on the road to get there.  I can do it.  I can do it.  I just keep repeating that to myself.

And as a follow up…I did get the kiddos Christmas jammies, and I’m even working on a christmas postcard that may or may not get finished. So it’s not as dismal as it sounds.  I’m thinking of buying myself lots of Christmas presents too. hehehe.  In other news- we are past all the hard parts of our house sale, so it looks like it’s gonna go through!  I am about 5/8 done with packing the house so we are right on schedule…or at least the fake schedule in my head.  My goal is to be almost all done by next Wednesday- which happens to be my 37th birthday.  We shall see.

So, put up a Christmas decoration for me…add another strand of lights to a shelf and take a picture for me.  I’ll just be here, listening to my new *Christmas tunes.


*I got a few songs from new albums from Pentatonix, Josh Garrels, She & Him, Lauren Daigle and Sarah McLachlan…random but delightful!

the one where i lament

Just let me have this one sad post because I have to essentially skip Christmas.  Don’t get me wrong; once we get to my parents it will be wonderful and for a week I’ll get to enjoy the smells and memory-making and the cozy…but here, in my own house…notsomuch.  Normally I’d be gearing up to make the big switch next week- from fall to christmas in all its glory but instead, I am creating brown box towers and unveiling very white bare walls filled with nail holes and sad faces.

Ok, I know, it’s not that bad but a little lamenting is what I need.  I played Christmas music yesterday, much to my husband’s chagrin.  It was November 14, probably the earliest I’ve ever played a carol but it was necessary.  I ordered my favorite christmas candle  (the red one) and had it sent to my parent’s house so when I get there I can drink in the scent and listen to it crackle…which might make up for the hours upon hours I’m going to spend in a van instead of in a beautifully decorated house filled with Christmas.  But I doubt it.  It’s probably not safe to burn a candle in the car, right?  I might sneak a pine wreath in the back so at least I’ll have one reminder of the season.  It’ll be worth the husband’s eye roll.

Don’t get me wrong- I am not questioning our decision to move in any way.  But the timing is sad.  I don’t think I’ve ever skipped Christmas like this before.  No christmas cards, no advent calendar, probably not even christmas jammies… and yes, as I type this I realize I could make all of this happen, but alas.  I lament.  And yes, I know- Jesus is the reason for the season so none of the rest matters, but I just L O V E all things christmas so much.  It’s literally the best time of the year- my birthday, Jesus’ birthday…it’s grand.

As an aside- if you have ever taken a week-long road trip with small children and have any tips: please tell me everything.  No ‘good lucks’ and ‘so glad it’s not me’… just good ol’ fashion advice, tips, tricks.  We’ll also have our dog. ha!  Merry Christmas to me.

Okay, lamenting over for now.  I’m gonna go play some more Christmas music.

a contract and a birthday

So, I am currently standing to type this, because I accidentally sold our computer desk a little quick.  Not that I’m complaining…I’m trying to get rid of as much as possible mostly because I’m the one that will be packing it all.  (this is my choice tho- bc I love it and I’m good at it hehe)

Anyway, it’s my only daughter’s birthday today and traditionally I would post a delightfully loving flow of words about her personality and quirks and accomplishments and how I cannot believe she’s 3, etc, etc etc.  But I hate to rush a post like that, so it will happen soon…maybe during our drive across the entire USA next month.

We went under contract on our house yesterday!  Yep, crazy right?  We listed it last Tuesday night and the next day we had one showing, followed by 2 the day after that.  Then crickets.  We were so hopeful but as the weekend passed our smiles got a little droopy until Monday came, and we received an offer!!!  So Lord willing, our house sold in less than a week this time!  Pray for all the details- because obviously anything can during the next 30 days but we are trusting Him and moving forward as though we will be closing December 10.

This Saturday is my first garage sale ever…which should be hilarious bc basically I am pricing everything at 25 cents and might even beg people to just take stuff away.  And tho I’m staring at a mountain of pricing/organizing to do tomorrow, I’m hopeful that it will make the packing up process that much less time consuming.

Ok. This was basically stream of conscious as I’m standing at the computer and so I’m ending this…


ten years

ry400Our love story- how we met to how we married- in case you’re new here…I wrote it all out on our 5 year anniversary.   Part 1- the meet, Part 2- first east coast sighting, Part 3-Embury Ave, Part 4-the smiley face text, Part 5-will you be my girlfriend, Part 6-cubic zirconia, Part 7-i think i might throw up, Part 8- no bows, no silk, no tulle, Part 9- dollar store bamboo, Part 10-the one with the bullet points, Part 11-ode to my wedding planner, Part 12- i was made for this.

Well that was fun.  I just reread the whole story of us and felt like I was right back in it…hard to believe ten years have passed.  At the same time I love that ten years have gone by, because I’m so grateful that we still love each other so much.  What a gift.

And this year, this October, is different than every other one.  We’ve been given the gift of time for this ten year anniversary.  Unemployment has its benefits.  We get to be together all day, every day and while those that know me, know that being glued to any person nonstop isn’t my favorite… this is, no doubt, a special time for us to connect and relax.  I love who we are together.  I love our love.  I love us.

When I think about our wedding day I smile.  I chuckle when I remember how we talked about being ‘older’ when we tied the knot…and now I think, gosh 26 is so young!  I giggle when I think how different from each other we were back then, and how we’ve still maintained many of those qualities and yet- it still works.  I am speechless when I think about where God has taken us throughout the last ten years…6 moves, 8 jobs, 4 adoption journeys, 3 kiddos- I cannot imagine what the next ten years hold, but I imagine I should just hold on tight.

Instead of writing a birthday post, I’m just going to include my ode to 38 year old Bart here…just as we included it in our wedding.  My husband is my favorite person to celebrate.  His faithfulness to me and our vows has never wavered.  I love watching him continually grow and change and mature- in ways I never even realized he needed to.  It’s amazing how love grows and matures if we embrace the changes in each other and continue to celebrate who we are.  I love who Bart is.  I love the way he laughs and the tender way he cries.  I love the freedom he feels to just be himself.  I love his steadfast devotion to Jesus and how he craves to know more about God daily.  I love his sensitivity and his over-thinking.  I love his weird quirks and his ever-evolving style.  I love his desire for righteousness and his honesty.  I love how he cares for people and his patience with each one.  I love to watch him with our children and how special he makes each of them feel.  I love the way he’s not afraid of anything, I love that he watches rom-coms even without me, and I love that he still longs to learn more about me.  I love his winks and his silent grin, his sweet smiles lines around his eyes and how his arm feels around me.  I love each hug and how our kids run to be included in our hugs whenever they see.  I love the freedom he gives me to be me.

I think I could keep going for pages and pages…I’m just so grateful to call this man my husband.  Happy Birthday Barty, Happy Anniversary my love.  I’d say we’ve spent the last ten years well.  I’m so glad I get to be with you, especially in this newest cross country adventure….California here we come!  With all that has happened in the last ten years, I can’t even begin to imagine what the next ten will hold.

what?! wait, what?!

Just to warn you, this post might shock you…since it’s content shocked us quite a bit, all the while feeling just right.

We are moving to California!

As most of you know, Bart lost his job in August and we’ve been chugging along…trying to enjoy this gift of time and choosing hope daily…knowing that God has always taken care of us and this time would be no different.  A few weeks ago, we felt like He was asking us what we wanted to do, where we wanted to go- and to simplify it down to a sentence- we chose Redding, California!!!

We have very few details to share so far and while we’re super sad to leave NJ family and friends, we are excited to see what is next!  If we can finish our mile long to-do lists, our house will be on the market by next week and we’ll see what happens from there.  Because there are a lot of unknowns, we don’t have a set timeline, but our hope is that we’ll be on the west coast by January?!?!  EEK!

Please pray for us- for a job for Bart, for a place to live out there, for the right buyer for our house, and for all the millions of details in between.

More to come as we know more…


Ps.  Just a PSA for all our east coasters: we are moving to Northern Cali…which looks like this- very different than LA/San Diego.  And in case you don’t know, the state is LARGE so we are literally 9 hours + away from the true southern California.  We will be only 12 hours away from my hometown (Port Angeles, WA)…the closest I’ve lived to home in 14 years!!!  Yayyyyyyy!

most boring post ever.

You would think that with more time on my hands these days (boys in school, husband unemployed) I would be able to write more in this little space of mine, but alas… I am showing up less and less.

Case in point I’m trying to type this deep blog post and I’m hearing The Little Mermaid in one ear and my husband’s voice on the phone in my other ear and there’s no space to type.  These are the moments I wish this was a laptop and I could run away to another place. ha.

Anyway, aside from still holding onto hope that God has got us…which I’m daily thankful that He is leading us in this time…I’ve been dealing with random health issues such as shoulder pain, a root canal and next week…a tooth extraction.  Not anything I would choose to be included in my life at the moment, but in some ways the timing has worked out well because Bart is able to take over completely while I lay in bed.  Netflix and books have become my best buddies.

In between ailments I have gotten to use this free time to get things done that I wouldn’t otherwise.  I finally organized 2 years worth of outgrown boy clothes and started Maya’s baby book (ha! just 3 years behind).  I’ve read more books in this past month than probably the past year combined.  I started going to yoga.  My oldest started soccer…which I’m already tired of but November will be here before I know it (I heard that’s the end of the season).  I made a huge list of dinner options in my bullet journal but sadly that hasn’t translated to better meal-planning and executing cooked meals.  I get to sleep in pretty often still, even though school is happening thanks for my lovely husband.

I cannot believe it’s the end of September though.  What the heck?

Slow down Fall.  I want to savor this.


randomadical isn’t a word. i just sometimes get tired of just using the word random because it’s probably in 1/4 of my blog posts.  so i made up a new word.  and also i’m skipping capital letters right now.  not sure if that’ll stay for the entire post.  we’ll see.

this made me laugh yesterday…someone’s first week of working at Target.  seriously just click on it. do it.

i am loving my bullet journal.  it’s seriously addicting and so helpful for developing habits.  i might dedicate a whole blog post to it soon.  stay tuned.

also am intrigued by this technique for cleaning pots and pans… anyone tried it yet?

i may perhaps talk about this candle every single fall, but it’s worth the words…i haven’t tired of it yet, and i think i’ve been repurchasing Aunt Sadie’s apple pie candle for over ten years now.  best fall scent there is.  worth every penny.

I found this motherhood advice on a blog and it made me so thankful that someone once told me- ‘just be excited to see them every single day’.  Also- I remember feeling bad for my babies that I didn’t constantly chatter on at them about everything and nothing.  But after awhile I realized that it was okay to just be me.  “In the early days, I wish someone would have told me, “Calm down, sister.” As a new mom, I tried really hard to nail parenting. I may or may not have created a Power Point of masterpiece art with developmentally appropriate talking points for my infant. At the time I thought, “I’m not good at small talk. And you are supposed to constantly talk to infants to stimulate their vocabulary, right?” I didn’t want to miss opportunities for enrichment or growth.  If I were parenting anew, I would know to lean in. Be brave in the silence, love is enough. Just light up when they enter the room. That is all.” Written by Sara Laurel, on Design Mom blog.

in other news…I discovered that a Twix spread exists…think nutella but without the hazelnuts (which i despise) and add caramel and cookie bits?!?!?  Are you kidding me??  However, sadly it looks like its only available in the UK.  sad.  So sabrina, if you’re reading, try it for me!

i would love one of these twirly dresses for maya…but alas, i need a sale.  she has actually been requesting dresses these days, i fear soon that’s all she’ll tolerate.  so i’m pushing through the tears some days to make sure she won’t say no to jeans forever.  i don’t know how much longer i have.  she likes to twirl.

one of my favorite artists/companies (Rifle Paper Co) is having a little sale…if my husband had a job and i could order something, i’d love to grab this sweet little ice-cream print for maya’s room.  but there’s not really any decor in her room right now bc she takes everything off the walls so i’m not too pressed. ha.  for now, i’m using some of the wrapping paper/cards as inspiration for paintings…thinking fall and winter motifs.  so far i’ve painted the first coat of five different canvases.  let’s hope i keep going.

and that’s all folks.  sending a big shout out to my husband who just whisked the boys off on an adventure so i can enjoy a little quiet time while maya naps.  you’re the best, barty!